Macphie appoints new chairman as Alastair Macphie steps down

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

'Alastair [pictued] has been a reassuring constant at Macphie, providing wise counsel, dedication and passion for the business and our people,' says firm's CEO.
'Alastair [pictued] has been a reassuring constant at Macphie, providing wise counsel, dedication and passion for the business and our people,' says firm's CEO.

Related tags appointments Leadership

After 17 years, the Scottish ingredients manufacture will see its chairman call it a day and take on a non-executive director role.

Alastair Macphie joined the business in 1987, taking over his late father as managing director in 1995.

The company’s turnover then was £14m; and over the last 28 years, it has grown to exceed £73m – with record growth recorded in the last three years.

Great nephew of Macphie’s founder, Alastair Macphie was made chairman of the business in 2007 and went onto appoint the firm’s first non-family managing director.

He steps down as chairman just four years before the business turns 100 and following the recent completion of the company’s £5m refurbishment of its Glasglow factory, with plans for major upgrades at its Glenbervie facility in the works.

“It has been 29 years since I first took on the role of managing director and it has been amazing watching the company grow. Despite the recent challenges, last year we reported record sales, double-digit growth, and healthy profitability,” ​Alastair Macphie commented.

“In recent years we’ve strengthened our leadership team with several key appointments – including my nephew Ed Widdowson as strategy, people and sustainability director – to lay the foundations for the next 100 years. Ed is the fourth generation of the family to be involved in the business.”

His move to a non-executive director role will mean he continues to add value to long-term capital investment decisions and give him the opportunity to “to concentrate his efforts in the community”. ​In 2020, Alastair Macphie was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, a role which he holds for the next 12 years.

The shuffle is not a surprise, with Alastair stating he had made the board aware of his ambitions some time ago.

“We’ve been working at getting the business into great shape with strong leadership and a clear growth strategy; with that in place, now is the right time to make this transition,”​ he said.

From 1 April, Norman Soutar will take on the position of chairman, with Andy Stapley as CEO – a role he has held since 2018.

Soutar first joined the business as a non-executive director in late 2022, bringing more than 30 years of leadership experience, spanning household names such as Baxters, Auntie Bessie’s, and William Jackson Food Group.

On his new role, Soutar said: “I’ve known Macphie for many years, and I’m delighted to take up this appointment and look forward to supporting the business with its ambitious plans.”

In other news, Rooster's Brewing Co is acquiring beer maker Daleside Brewery.

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